Embassy Of India
Visit of Ms. Smriti Zubin Irani, Hon’ble Minister for Human Resource Development to Qingdao
Ms. Smriti Zubin Irani, Hon’ble Minister for Human Resource Development visited Qingdao, China in connection with the International Conference on ICT and Post-2015 Education organised by the Chinese Government and UNESCO. In the margins of the Conference, the Minister also held a number of interactions with high-level Chinese officials including Minister for Education Dr. Yang Guiren, Vice Minister Liu Limin and Vice Minister Du Zhanyuan on bilateral cooperation in Education.
Speaking earlier today at the Ministers’ Round table at the ICT Conference, the Hon’ble Minister underlined the critical importance of ICT in strengthening education systems, in the effort to make education more inclusive and equitable. This aspect assumed particular importance in the context of the Incheon Declaration recently adopted in the Republic of Korea where member states had committed themselves to a new roadmap for global education until 2030: Education 2030. Information and communication technology application constituted an absolute pre-requisite, offering the chance to telescope decades of knowledge and experience by providing the advantage of high speed delivery, wide outreach, individualization of learning in varied contexts and interactivity.
In her plenary address, the Hon’ble Minister also elaborated on the various initiatives recently undertaken by the Government of India in the education sector, which have been game changers, as the Government seeks to integrate technology and democratize education across sectors. Some examples included the National Mission on Education through ICT; the National Digital Library; the National Repository of Open Educational Resources; SARANSH; SHALA DARPAN; UDAAN; SWAYAM etc.
In her bilateral meetings, Hon’ble Minister recalled the successful visit of Prime Minister to China from 14 to 16 May during which both sides had signed a new Educational Exchange Programme (EEP) and had also agreed to expand cooperation to newer areas. It may be recalled that besides the EEP, two other education related documents establishing, inter alia, a Centre for Gandhian and Indian Studies in Fudan University and setting up of a Yoga College in Kunming were also signed. Hon’ble Prime Minister also visited the renowned Fudan University in Shanghai and delivered a speech at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
During these meetings, the Hon’ble Minister and her Chinese interlocutors also exchanged views on the proposed agreement for mutual recognition of academic degrees, collaboration in teacher’s training, establishing a consortium of higher educational institutions, and sharing experiences on their respective systems for ranking universities.
Emphasizing the dictum that “education is a gift that lasts forever”, the Hon’ble Minister furthermore underlined the need to cooperate through initiatives like the E9 and ICT interventions to improve and expand education avenues. She also invited high level Chinese participation to an international gathering of educationists that the Ministry of Human Resource Development will be organizing in India as part of the process of revising India’s National Education Policy.
Hon’ble Minister for Human Resource Development arrived in Qingdao on 22 May on the second leg of her first official visit since assuming charge last year. She will conclude this visit on 25 May 2015.